Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Ships longer than Noah's Ark ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Ships longer than Noah's Ark
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: binas_daddy-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 31 Dec 2005 21:32 PST
Expires: 30 Jan 2006 21:32 PST
Question ID: 427758
Many Christian web sites state that a Cunard steamship named Eturia
was the first ship to be built that was longer than Noah's Ark. 
Because it appears almost word-for-word on so many sites and yet I
cannot find the length of the Eturia, I suspect it is an urban legend.

I can only find one reference to the Eturia in 1883.  And, I find
several references to the Etruria (note the R) in 1884.

My question is - did the Cunard Eturia really exist, and if so, what
were its dimensions (length, width, tonnage).
Subject: Re: Ships longer than Noah's Ark
Answered By: siliconsamurai-ga on 02 Jan 2006 16:47 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
While I won?t take any stand on precisely how long Noah?s Ark was in
modern measurements, I can tell you that thre was a Cunard Lines ship
named the Eturia (or Etruria) which sailed out of Liverpool in 1884

The ship held a transatlantic crossing record in 1885 with an average
speed of 18.4 knots.

Specifically addressing your question, the ss Etruria was built by
John Elder and Co.and launched into the Clyde on Saturday, the 20th of
September, 1884, and was registered out of Liverpool.

She was a passenger vessel apparently owned by the Cunard Steamship
Company during her entire working life until she was scrapped in 1909.
The design displacement was 7118 tons, the design (Lloyds Registry)
length was 501 ft, and maximum width (beam) of 57 feet.

The maximum design speed was 19 knots and she carried up to 1500
passengers between Europe and New York.

Much of the above information is according to the Cyde-Built Database
of ships built in Liverpool.

Perhaps a slightly less reliable source for precise measurements is a
homepage for a family genealogy which placed the gross tonnage at 8127
and the length as 520 feet.

As an old sailor I have a possible explanation for the differences in
the numbers. First, something may have been added to the ship after
construction and, second, there are several ways of measuring the
length of a ship or yacht, one being the length on deck, another being
the length at the water line which can be further separated into a
launch water line length, and a load water line length with the ship
fully laden. There is also the length on the keel. For some yachts and
ships these numbers are very similar, but for others they can vary
considerably. The bow on this ship is pretty straight but I haven't
seen a picture of her stern so I can't estimate the different numbers.
However, the small variations between the two sites is probably due to
some such difference in exactly what they were measuring.

I don?t have as easy an answer for the differences in spelling but I
suspect the ship name has simply been misspelled at one time and

There is a picture of The Etruria taken March 26, 1905 at

If you are interested, Noah?s Ark was supposed to be 300 cubits in
length. I don?t believe it was mentioned whether that was the on deck
or water line length.

That part is simple - what isn?t simple is learning just how big a cubit was/is.

The most common definition I know is that it was the length of
Pharaoh?s forearm measured from the elbow to the tip of his extended
hand. Of course that might vary a bit from one Pharaoh to another.

Google Search Term:

Of course in more practical terms there just never seems to be a
Pharaoh around when you want one so ?a cubit? actually meant that same
measurement on whatever craftsman was building something. That
probably seems pretty sloppy but, as long as a single length for the
cubit was adopted as the standard for any one project it wasn?t a

Thank you for bringing your question to Google Answers.

Request for Answer Clarification by binas_daddy-ga on 18 Jan 2006 18:11 PST
Thought you'd like to know about this note I got today...

Dear Mr Fahel,


Cunard owned only a ship called Etruria (not Eturia), which sailed out
from Liverpool in 1885.


Lorna Hyland

Lorna Hyland
Assistant Librarian
National Museums Liverpool
Tel: 0151 478 4424
Fax: 0151 478 4527
binas_daddy-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy